Civil Development Agency, Rustavi, Georgia
Since spring 2009, Civil Development Agency (CiDA) is implementing a Civil Participation Project (CPP) funded by Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation. The project intends to contribute to the improvement of the capacity of local government and civil society organizations (CSOs) as well as to build mechanisms through which the CSOs will be able to communicate and /advocate the needs and interests of the community and monitor the local government's performance.
Along with the capacity building of local civil society organizations and ensuring their active participation in the decision- making process, CiDA managed to create a pattern of positive and mutually beneficial cooperation with the Rustavi city self-governing bodies.
Within the project it established a Civil Consultation Council that seeks and receives information about the activities of any particular government office, its budget spending records, and past, current, and planned projects. Apart from this, the local government officials, including the mayor of Rustavi, agreed to publish and distribute reports on performed activities and organize monthly public information sharing meetings at CiDA media centre.
To keep the population informed and abreast of the latest developments in the city, the project issues informational newsletter Self-Government Messenger providing Rustavi population with information on current and planned activities of local government and analytical articles.
In addition, CiDA collected, systematized, and published an electronic version of legal acts adopted by the local municipality and city council. The handbook became the only source of reference for local government bodies and representatives of the civil society. The Civil Participation project staff reviews and monitors the application of these legal acts by the different departments of the local government and regularly provides recommendations to the local government bodies on the improvement of practices related to their appliance.
The results yielded by the Civil Participation project showed the local government representatives and the civic activists the need of for continued cooperation within the established framework and urged CiDA to continue such activities in the future. The success of the project helped CiDA to attract additional funding and cover the whole region of Kvemo Kartli, of which Rustavi City is the administrative center.